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William H. Carter, Jonathan Fox, Kate Padgett Walsh

Debt is often central to financial decision making, and it plays a key role in financial counseling and planning. It also raises important ethical questions for individuals and families, small businesses, and lawmakers. Which forms of debt, and at what levels, are most conducive to financial well-being? Does financial literacy—... Read More >

Martin C. Seay, Gloria L. Preece, and Vincent C. Le

This study explored the relationship between financial literacy and the use of interest-only mortgages using data from the 2009 National Financial Capability Study (NFCS). A series of analyses were conducted to investigate characteristics associated with the use of an interest-only mortgage as a primary mortgage, as compared to fixed-rate mortgage... Read More >

Jay L. Zagorsky

This research investigates if ethical behaviors and personal finances are related using a large scale U.S. random survey called the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 (NLSY97). Fifteen indicators covering both ethical and unethical behaviors are compared to net worth for people in their 20s and 30s, who are called... Read More >

Kyoung Tae Kim, Melissa J. Wilmarth, and Robin Henager

This study analyzed the debt profile of low-income households before and after the Great Recession using the 2007, 2010, and 2013 Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF). We used Heckman selection models to investigate three debt characteristics: (a) the amount of debt, (b) debt-to-income ratio, and (c) debt delinquency. Before and... Read More >

Mark D. White

In recent years, experimental psychology and behavioral economics have cast doubt on the quality and reliability of individual decision making, especially in complicated choice contexts involving risk and time. These factors imply that financial decision making is particularly subject to such doubts, which has generated calls for increased regulation based... Read More >

Jennifer L. Hunter and Claudia J. Heath

This article uses a random digit dial probability sample (N 5 328) to examine the relationship between credit card use behaviors and household well-being during a period of severe economic recession: The Great Recession. The ability to measure the role of credit card use during a period of recession provides... Read More >

Ralph Abbey Ssebagala

A large fraction of South African consumers are highly leveraged, inadequately insured, and/or own little to no assets of value, which increases their exposure not only to idiosyncratic risk but also to severe indebtedness and/or default. This scenario can present negative ramifications that lead well beyond the confines of individual... Read More >

J. Michael Collins

Field experiments, which are a powerful research technique, are common in some fields, but they have not been widely used in studying the effect of financial and counseling planning interventions. Financial services can benefit from the expanded use of field experiments to explore potential causal mechanisms for the effects of... Read More >

Sherman D. Hanna, Lishu Zhang, and Kyoung Tae Kim

Using the 2013 Survey of Consumer Finances, we found that 18% of full-time workers aged 35–60 years who were household heads expected never to retire. Expecting never to retire was more related to a failure to plan rather than a preference for working indefinitely. Most workers stating that they would... Read More >

Jinhee Kim, Michael S. Gutter, and Taylor Spangler

This article reviews the theories and literature in intrahousehold financial decisions, spousal partners and financial decision making, family system and financial decision process, children, and financial decisions. The article draws conclusions from the literature review and discusses directions for future research and educational programs. Most financial education and counseling takes... Read More >

Travis P. Mountain, Michael S. Gutter, Jorge Ruiz-Menjivar, and Zeynep Çopurd

The purpose of this study was to determine whether using a financial disclosure form in a controlled setting can influence consumers’ mortgage selection. This study used a 2 3 2 experimental design where participants were assigned randomly to a control or treatment group. Treatment group participants received a Federal Reserve... Read More >

Sarah Osmane and Cathy Faulcon Bowen

The objectives of this study were to assess consumer knowledge of their health insurance plan and overall financial knowledge and to identify factors associated with consumer health insurance knowledge. A sample of taxpayers who had tax returns completed at a university-based volunteer income tax assistance (VITA) program was surveyed. More... Read More >